I love the sound of Spring Frogs & Monday night parked in Beatty Nevada I heard my first frogs of the year. The night time temps stayed warm & I’m sure that brought the guys into song despite not seeing any water anywhere in this dry dusty vacant lot. Trees are really beginning to bud in these parts & it is so nice for we Northerners to see the color green again.
<<< HAD A HARD TIME EATING MY TUNA SUB THIS MORNING
Looking back I see that it was about a year ago right now we were at the Lost Dutchman SP near Apache Junction east of Phoenix, Arizona. Just gotta love this RV lifestyle & the freedom it offers. The thoughts of getting home & spending another boring summer just sitting around in one place already has me in the dumpster!!
EVER HAD A ‘TERRIBLE’ CAR WASH OR BOUGHT BEER AT Mc’DONALD’S?? BEER SIGNS WERE FOR ANOTHER STORE IN THIS MALL COMPLEX BUT IT DOESN’T LOOK GOOD FOR McDONALD’S!!
The big clock on on the wall said 6:40 this morning as I swung the big rig’s wheel hard left & exited our vacant lot in Beatty. A minute later we were southbound on highway 95 heading in the direction of the big action Jackson city commonly known as ‘Lost Wages’ or as some officially call it, Las Vegas. It was a beautifully quiet morning on the highway heading south with very little traffic. Sunrise behind a heavy cloud cover cast darkened hues onto the mountainsides.
Anyone who knows us or has followed the Bayfield Bunch for any length of time knows that we would not, let me repeat that, would not voluntarily enter any large city just for the sake of seeing the city. We have both been to downtown Vegas plus the strip before so no need to go there again. No, we were heading for a place far nicer than any darn big old City.
I think it was fellow RV’ers Bea & Herb Wytinck who first mentioned to us about the VALLEY OF FIRE a few years ago in Quartzsite Az. My cousin Norma & husband Jim sent us a website about it last summer & I’m sure we have read where other RVing friends have been here as well. Well, now it’s the Bayfield Bunch’s turn to have a look at the Valley Of Fire for themselves:))
After becoming turned around in the north end of Las Vegas a bit around 9 o’clock this morning we had to solicit some directional help from a McDonald’s patron who quickly put us back on the right track heading northeast on I-15. While at McDonald’s we both had a big bowl of Lentil soup of course:))
Purposely went by the turn off to Valley of Fire & went on down the road a bunch of miles & turned south for the little town of Overton. We had some good leads on a few boon docking areas south of Overton. Loaded up with fresh groceries & headed further south checking out areas as we went along.
Came across a road leading to the Valley of Fire’s East entrance so we decided to head in & look for the Visitor Center. Always a great place to start an exploration of any area because they have all the answers & brochures pertaining to the region.
It is easy to see why they call this place Valley of Fire. Although we had a cloudy day going on the color of the rocks still suggested great volumes of fiery rock.
THEY WERE CLEARING THE CLAY LIKE SAND OFF THE ROAD
It was apparent right from the moment we turned onto the Park road that this was going to be a great place to spend a few days hiking & seeing things. I love large unusual rock formations & this place had them in Spades. This Park has the ‘WOWSER’ factor for sure:))
Almost missed the Visitor’s Center because it was so well blended into the rocks around it. There were campsites available we could have had but with no Verizon signal in the Park we decided to go back to a boon docking site we had passed earlier. Kelly needs the signal for work so it is important we have it.
VISITOR’S PARKING LOT & INTERPRETIVE CENTER
KELLY DOUBLE CHECKING FOR A VERIZON SIGNAL IN THE PARK BUT NO LUCK
Headed ourselves back out of the Park with great anticipation for returning over the next few days to see as much as we can see here. Like Joshua Tree, even just a drive through the Park is worthwhile for folks just to see all the great colored rock formations.
We had noticed a number of RV’s parked atop a Mesa not far from the road to the Park. They were all reasonably spaced out & although not normally our first choice it had a good Verizon signal & a 360 degree view. Lake Mead is almost visible to the south & maybe if it was sunny we could see some sparkly water. As I write this our outside temperature is 80F & we are being mercilessly pummeled by heavy, heavy, wind gusts….but at least the wind is warm.
TRYING TO KEEP THE SATELLITE SHELTERED FROM THE HEAVY WIND GUSTS WE ARE EXPERIENCING ATOP THE MESA
In Monday’s blog I made a passing reference to our accidental wrong turn & harrowing ride we had over Mingus Mountain right smack dab into the narrowed streets of Jerome on November 26th of 2007 with our 33 foot motorhome. Our blog for that day is HERE & the photos I took while trying to squeeze through the streets of Jerome & still leave some paint on the houses are HERE. Additional pictures of Jerome, Arizona are HERE.
ATOP THE MESA WITH THE ASSUMPTION LAKE MEAD IS JUST THIS SIDE OF THE DISTANT MOUNTAIN RANGE
And a word about photo’s from the driver’s seat. Years ago in the ancient realm of 35mm photography during the Jurassic age of manual focusing, light meters, f-stops & slow shutter speeds it was near impossible & downright dangerous to trying taking a photo while operating a motor vehicle. In the digital age of auto everything it is no more dangerous than changing a station on your car radio. In fact it may even be safer simply by the fact your eyes never leave the road. No telephone numbers to look at or texting keys to suck all your attention out of you. Your total focus is on the road ahead. Here’s how I do it. First & foremost I generally use a wide angle zoom lens set to a wide angle setting of about 18mm. That covers a lot of area out front of you. Camera is set on auto focus & exposure so no worries there. Never put the camera up to your face & look through the view finder or you may well find yourself over the edge & down into the canyon below. Just hold the camera out in front of you at arms length & hit the button. That’s all there is to it & your eyes never leave the road. But, we’re not finished yet. When you get the photo home & into your photo editing program you will probably find the horizon crooked for starters. So, first thing in Picasa 3.8 is to get that horizon line straightened up again using your ‘Straighten’ tool. Now, look for whatever it is you were taking a picture of. Here’s where your ‘Cropping’ tool can make or break your photo. I have both my Nikons & 2 Canons set to the ‘finest’ settings possible & that allows me to go into a photo & pull something out of it that is still going to look sharp even if it is enlarged. I call this ‘looking for a photo within a photo.’ In the shot you took through your windshield maybe it was the twisting road or rock formation that caught your attention. Just ‘crop’ in on your point of interest & ‘walla’ you just might have yourself a fine photo. Your ‘Retouch’ tool will come in handy for removing those ‘smooshed windshield bugs’ out of your photo as well. Try to keep your windshield clean or else the auto focus in your camera may try to focus on all the bug smooosh. I’m not saying to go out & start taking photos in rush hour traffic. I’m just saying know your vehicle, know the road conditions, know the traffic around you & know your camera equipment. Don’t ask me about doing this on a bumpity desert trail in a bouncing Jeep Wrangler with a 6 speed manual transmission either…..that’s another blog!!
OUR SIDE YARD FOR THE NEXT BUNCH OF DAYS….YA JUST GOTTA LOVE THIS BOON DOCKING STUFF I TELL YA:))
And I just noticed today that our Sitemeter shows we have now surpassed the quarter million mark on ‘hits’ to our blog site. Who would have ever thunk it. Thanks everybody:))
A priest and a bus driver both died and went to heaven at the same time. They get to the pearly gates where St. Peter greets them. He motions to the priest, and they both hop in a jeep and go out the back door. There are about 50 acres of rolling hills with a little cottage on the knoll. St. Peter turns to the priest and says "This will be yours for eternity. A perfect little cottage, right next to a wishing well. Anything you wish on that wishing well will come true guarantied."
The priest says, "Oh, thank you so much. This I shall enjoy!"
St. Peter drops off the priest, goes back to the pearly gates and motions to the bus driver. They hop in a stretch limo and go out the front door. There are about 500 acres of land, with mountains and lakes and rivers. There is a huge castle on one of the mountains with about 200 rooms. St. Peter says "This will be yours for eternity. You can live in that castle with servants to wait on you hand and foot, and you can have everything you want."
The bus driver looks and St. Peter and says "Well, now, don't think I'm not grateful, but shouldn't the priest get all this, not me? Shouldn't I get the cottage and 50 acres instead?" St. Peter just laughs and says "The reason you get all this is because when the priest preached, everyone fell asleep. Now, when you drove your bus, people prayed!"
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The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails -William Arthur Ward
The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...... AL.